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So, I find myself in the situation of having a far better Blade than any other weapon available to me. (A QL10.1 purp would tend to be.) Fortunately, thanks to doing my vertical progression using the Slayer deck, and tanking 5 man dungeons for quite a while now, I've purchased every single ability in the Blade section of the Ability wheel. 100%. So I have a lot of options for how to use my shiny new cutlery.

Where I find myself stymied is trying to figure out how to effectively complement it when I'm not tanking. (Tanking is easy, Chaos, Escalation and Reality Fracture/Karma/Pulling the Strings as appropriate, use proper passives, hooray.)

Fortunately, I'm at a point in the game where AP is relatively easy to come by, so I can branch out into any tree pretty easily, and already have most of the really great passives, as near as I can tell. I also have 10 skill points in the damage tree on every weapon. So I've got options there too.

But I just have no idea what to do from all those options? What's an effective Blade/* build for DPS in Elite/NM's (yeah, yeah, I know melee in NM's, can it), as well as for survival DPS soloing elite mobs to farm signets/quest in Transylvania?

AP is not an issue, nor is weapon skill. That said, double brownie bonus points* for Blade/Pistol, for reasons of both Style and Substance that are specific to my unique special snowflake situation.

* To be delivered via a bounty, quantity TBD.

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I'm not far enough into the game to really speak conclusively here, since my playtime has still been pretty limited, but I can say that Clearing the Path is disgustingly good for AoE DPS. A penetrate build around that (maybe Shotgun for penetrate synergy there) is probably a good place to start looking. The nice thing is that you don't really have to stack pen rating since it's guaranteed on your consumer, at least. –  Shinrai Aug 17 '12 at 17:54
    
What builds have you tried for Blade/* DPS so far? Did you arrive at a build that works for you? What other gear do you use with it? I've heard that blades are not good for DPS, though I'm not sure what the reasons are. What experiences have you had? –  Alex Jun 24 '13 at 6:57
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